New House (Before)

I am finally getting around to posting the before photos of our new home.  I wish I could share the exterior of our house, but some creepy people spoil all the fun for the others.  So, trust me when I say that when it originally popped up in my Zillow feed I oooohed.  I went right over to where the Mr. was cooking dinner and flipped through the photos.  He liked it too and told me to send the owner (it was listed as a Make Me Move) an email. At that point, we were quite smitten with Maryville.  We were having a difficult time finding what we liked.  It seems the homes sell super fast here, so we knew we needed to jump on this one.  I think that was a Wednesday evening.  She wasn't ready to show it yet, but said we could come on Saturday.  She also had a few others who wanted to see it.  I asked for her first appointment.  On Saturday, we saw the house and had scheduled to look at one other while we were here.  In between the appointments, we talked about how much we really loved this one.  At the next house with the agent, we asked if she could help us fill out the paperwork to place an offer. We submitted an offer at 4 that day.  There was a verbal offer from another party that day as well.  We found out the next day that our offer was accepted! And, that is where I am going to end the story of our home buying/ selling process since it was completely submerged in stress from that point up until late last week.  So, moving on to the before photos.  When we saw this house, we knew that we were going to make many changes.  But, we love its bones and its location and its size!  

This house has 2 or 3 bedrooms depending on if you consider a room a bedroom if it doesn't have closets.  This is also the only room with carpet, but we were told that it has hardwood underneath, but not necessarily pretty hardwood.  Once I get the boxes moved, we will tear up a little to see what we are working with in here.  Most likely, we will paint it instead of trying to match the stain on the existing wood.

Here is a true bedroom with 2 closets.  One of those will likely disappear.  

Here is another (the largest) bedroom.  In here, we will paint and change out lighting and the window treatments as well.

We have a looooong hallway that has many doors and doorways.  It was so much fun taping off and cutting in around those doorways when I painted earlier this week.  A much lighter color than this medium grey, by the way.

This is the dining room and I do like the color in here, but we have a shady yard, so everything in the house will be lightened up quite a bit.  Except maybe for the moldings in here and the living room.  I usually really like white painted trim, but these original moldings and the wood framed windows are so pretty.  We will be changing out the chandelier in here though.  We think it may be the only original light left in the house, but up close it is quite Gothic and not our style.

This is one of my favorite parts of the house. The set up in the living room around the fireplace.  The arch is pretty fantastic too.I dream of having built in bookcases flanking the fireplace. Sadly, the fireplace is gas burning and we may have it removed.  We will definitely be removing the black and shiny brass front. Here, the paint looks quite light, but in the mornings it is pretty dark.

All of the hardwoods are in really good condition except for this spot in the living room that was covered up with a rug when we initially viewed it.  Well played previous home owner!  No worries though.... it is currently covered up with our sofa.  Now, we know our new home isn't without  its flaws.  The main thing that we dislike about it is that the walls in the living and dining rooms and the hallway have a thick, stucco like texture on all the walls and the upper moldings (not truly crown.) They even textured over some of the light switches! I really, really wish they wouldn't have done that. The ceilings are textured throughout the house.  The ceilings are something that may change eventually.  It isn't the easy, spray water on and scrape off popcorn texture either.  And, the walls are the texture over plaster.  Neither will be easy to change while we are living here since the dust will be maddening.  So, I am painting over the walls and hoping to install some beadboard ceilings at a later date.  

And, now we come to the kitchen.  The newest and my least favorite room of the house right now.  Funnily enough, this kitchen was featured in Southern Living magazine 12+ years ago.  It is probably the room that needs the most, even though most people wouldn't agree with us.  I mean, the walls and trim are painted RED.  No bueno! I am not a fan of red.  And the stainless steel blinds and the stainless steel quilted backsplash make everything seem to glow.  I keep thinking the lights are on in the middle of the day and then I realize the room is just glowing and reflecting the red.

There was (WAS!!) this little built in half round cabinet and eating nook combo that is no more!  The Mr. ripped that out soon after closing and I have a little antique cabinet there now.

He also ripped out the wine rack you see. We don't have much counter space and my mixer is big.  It just happens to fit in the area where the wine rack used to be.

New counters and backsplash are in the future.  The Mr started to get rid of the backsplash but they didn't make it easy.  It is installed about 3 inches behind the cabinets.  It will be easier once the counters are out, but it won't be pretty since it is glued to the wall and rips off plaster when it comes down. The cabinets will be painted and the hardware changed too.

Now, besides the exterior, this bathroom floor is what sold the house for me.  It is original and unglazed porcelain hexagon tiles.  We are missing just a few, but we have them and they just need to be replaced. The wallpaper can't come down fast enough!

The tub seems to be original, but the tile surround is new-ish.  I wish it was subway tile and if I get my way it will be one day.  Right now it is white and khaki tiles.  Not atrocious, but it could be better. You can see in this photo the crystal knobs on the door.  All the interior doors have them!  I may have not decided about painting the natural wood work (that red is getting painted!) but the doors will definitely stay natural.

We have a dream sink we are steadily searching for here, but we haven't found it yet.  So, we may do a big pedestal or a pair since this is the only bathroom.

So, there it is!  Our new home!  It probably isn't obvious, but we downsized quite a bit.  We moved from a 2100 sq. ft. home to this one at under 1500.  And, it was by choice.  Some of my family and friends thought we were a bit batty going into a home willingly that only has one bathroom.  And, 1 1/2 baths would be ideal, but it definitely wasn't a deal breaker.  Especially for me since I only have to clean one toilet now.  We truly only lost a playroom and the Mr's office.  The playroom will be combined into the boy's bedroom.... he really didn't need 2 rooms to mess up anyhow.  It is tight, but with some new storage solutions, we will be able to make it work.  And, the Mr. found a studio space outside of the home.  And, we actually have a space for guests to stay now that will be like a sitting/ guest room.

We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are enjoying ourselves in this pretty little town already.

I will have lots of inspiration posts for each room ahead!


  1. What a cute house! I can't wait to see all the things you do with it. Wish we could see the outside, but I totally understand what you mean. I love that bathroom floor too!! Wishing we could have found something as great for our house when we were re-doing all the flooring. The main bathroom's floors were fine (vinyl, but not ugly vinyl), and since we literally had to re-do every other floor in the house, I figured we could wait until I found something I liked and had the money. Needless to say, I can appreciate all the work you have to do, but it's great that you have so many things you like about the house as well!!

  2. I know you will do a great job of pulling it all together. It has a great layout and is huge! I love the hardwood floors. I had mine refinished about two years ago and they are challenge to keep up. I've always wanted to paint my floors in one bedroom, but my husband wouldn't let me. He says I have to paint everything. Good luck and have fun!

  3. Thank you for letting me post on your blog. One of the things that took us a long time to get used to in our new house was the tip toeing around in the middle of the night. Our neighbors once said they heard us getting up for wok at 3am each day. I still get up and walk quietly around even though no one is under us anymore.

    Jefferson @ T.J. Lamb Real Estate


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